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Archive for December, 2013

I tried to find an original source for this recipe and couldn’t. I made mine from a comment on a Pinterest picture. As typical for me I didn’t follow exactly. 
Chocolate Lasagna

Ingredients
1 package Oreos (not double stuff) crushed to crumbs. 
6 Tbsp melted butter
8 oz package cream cheese softened
1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tub cool whip
1 large box chocolate pudding
Enough milk to mix pudding per pie directions
Mini chocolate chips
Directions

Mix butter and Oreo crumbs together and press into 9 X 13 pan or 2 square pans if you are taking dessert to someone who needs it.  Put into fridge then go start dinner rolls in bread machine. Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy then add in milk and sugar until it’s a bowl of cream cheese near heaven goodness. Fold in some cool whip. Recipe called for 1 1/4 C I think but I just scooped some. Spread it over crumb crust and put back into fridge. Get distracted while taking the trash out and putter around outside.  Mix pudding mix as per pie recipe directions and pour over cream cheese mixture spreading evenly then place in fridge for at least 5 minutes. Realize that you have a waterfall coming from the drainpipe under the kitchen sink. Sit and cry for a minute then go to work playing plumber. Spread the rest of the cool whip on top of the chocolate being careful to keep layers separate and not pull the chocolate up into the cool whip. Top with mini chocolate chips. Instructions said to freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 4 hours. I didn’t but it spent a lot of prep time in the fridge while I played plumber etc. 

This is a good dessert, nice and simple. I’m not a big fan of Cool Whip or boxed ingredients but it’s nice to have a trick recipe in your pocket now and then. I think I’d like chocolate curls ontop instead of the chips but if I’m going to the trouble of making chocolate curls they aren’t going on Cool Whip.  
I may or may not have snuck another piece into my bedroom to eat while writing this post. 
{Heather} 

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I was introduced to SMART goals in school and drilled with them during the nursing program. They still hang around at work. There is exact criteria for SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely but all be very clear and well defined. For evaluations I understand the smart format, it gives a good ruler for progress. For how the patients shift went I lean a little more towards meh’ whatever. As for New Years Resolutions I think it’s a bad idea, at least for me. 

The wording out charting uses is  all goals met or goals not met. Pretty much it’s pass/fail, succeed/unsuccessful, your great/you suck. If the measurable part of my goal is to lose 20 lbs and I lose 19 I have ‘goals not met’, fail, unsuccessful, and I suck. Completely ignoring all the work and progress made. Similar things happen with absolutes. I will exercise 20 minutes 3 times a week. As soon as there is a week it doesn’t happen you’ve failed. Again. This is why I don’t set standard New Year’s Resutions, failing is hard on self esteem. 
My resolutions this year?  I want to be a better me, truer to myself, kinder to myself and others. I want to gain a better understanding of my worth.  Smile more and spend more time in the sunshine. I want to be a better friend, mother, sister, daughter. I want to love fully, sing in the shower, and dance in the rain. 

I have a plan with baby steps and ways back on track when it gets hard or I get lazy.  Absolutes won’t happen but I can do better and achieve more. I sit and look back to a year ago and somehow I find the strength to be grateful not exactly for the trials I’ve faced this year but for the strength I’ve found, how my testimony has grown and for my amazing friends who are busy going around and answering prayers by visits, phone calls, hot chocolate and walks in the cold.  This year really threw me for a loop, more than I thought was possible. It’s taken nearly a year to get to where I am now full of days I could barely get out bed, times so lonely my chest hurt, and so tired I couldn’t function.  I got through that swamp, or at least a ways through it and I can smile again 🙂 all without SMART goals of which I’d certainly have to receive “goals not met”. 
I hope everyone has a safe New Years Eve and a wonderful 2014.  Make sure you have a designated driver or call a cab. 

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Christmas Concert

The sign said no cameras or videotaping. No mention of recording voice notes or not. Now if I can just put them on here.  Which I can’t so have some pictures. 

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I had a nice, uplifting post planned sharing some insights and questions from reading this week. 

Instead I’m having a night filled with choffy and crochet. Really what I want is someone to talk to, share my insights, plan Christmas, tell me the hats are going to be waaaayyy too small because I didn’t take the time to gauge. 
I don’t want lonely to be forever, I wish I knew what was up ahead for me. 

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Traditions

Growing up one if my favorite traditions was helping Grandma and Grandpa decorate for Christmas. Grandma would be busy turning the mantle and organ into Christmas wonderland while Grandpa was busy making sure the tree was perfect from all angles. He would cut off branches to graft them exactly where he wanted them, and wouldn’t stop until it was perfect. 

Fast forward to 2013.  Buying a Christmas tree late I didn’t have a ton of choices. I prefer a fir even though they look less perfect than ponderosa because if the smell, the perfect top for a star and more space for dangly ornaments. There were only a few firs left on the lot and my favorite has a nice bare spot. Not the length of the tree so we can put up against the wall tight but a perfect spot for some branches to be grafted in. 
I don’t know that this is the year to be learning about grafting Christmas trees, but we’ll be talking about it when it {finally} gets decorated. 
Miss you Grandpa, especially at Christmas time. You are apart of all my favorite Christmas memories. 

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Band concert time!

Music is such a huge part of Christmas for me. The chaos of all the concerts is crazy but I love every minute of them.

This week was Charlet’s band concert, less technical difficulties than usual I’m only missing the end of one song. We did have to hunt all over the auditorium for a piece of her flute that fell off.

Okay, that’s all I have listed for now, I will add the others as I put them up

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Heart of Gold

Our local shop with a cop is tomorrow.  The Young Women always go and help wrap, probably their favorite service project. A year and half into single-parenthood Kaede and Michael were invited to go, after a fair amount of inner turmoil, they went and had a great experience. It often comes up at Christmastime, today as we walked into Wal-mart past the bin for Toys For Tots Kaede sighed and said “I wish I got to do Shop With A Cop again so I could put some nice toys in there” she had asked earlier if we could put something in there and I said no.  What a meany Grinch I am!  When we were putting packages together for our missionaries (that are not going to make it in time 😦  ) we had put everything in I’d planned on/budgeted for not having any idea how much mailing them would be and Kaede wanted to get something else too.  Even if it meant she got less for Christmas this year.  

The size of that girls heart is simply amazing, she has empathy for absolutely everyone and hates to see people sad.  I hope and pray that she is able to hold onto her golden heart forever. 
With Aunt Becky at Little Brick House after a concert this fall. 

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Winds of Change

I’m not certain exactly what, but today things felt different. It could be a bunch of little things, running late to church so we were sitting in the very back. Waited for a phone call during Sunday School that never came, new counselors in the Bishopric.  Lots of small little things that in reality aren’t much.

Work last week was different too, I’m skipping details there but Friday night I was grateful to be headed home. The new Cedar Ward, my curiosity is piqued and I realized it gives me a better option when I work Saturday nights. 
There is something more though and it has me a little uncertain. Life just seems a little different somehow. 

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I’m sitting in bed, bundled under a stack of blankets reading, checking Facebook, Christmas list planning and checking the weather to see if getting a tree today is very realistic. There was no alarm waking me up, no sub zero temperatures to trudge through to get the car started, no list of critical value phone calls all day long. 

I’m completely wiped out after the week we’ve had at work, trying desperately to have a fun busy day but realistically I may just get the front rooms of the house straightened up. Maybe. 
I wish I had a truck, that would make getting a tree today more likely, then we could put it up tomorrow after church. I’m excited this year for the holiday season, just a little overwhelmed at all there is to do and just me to get it all done. 
I think I’m going to go make some hot chocolate and go start a fire. See if this tired body can find some energy. 

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On Gratitude

The day started out pretty and blue skies. By 3:30 it looked like this. 

By 4:00
4:10
8:30

It would be easy to be sad about no carport or garage and having to work tomorrow. Or needing new tires, how warm scrubs aren’t, or how early 5 am feels in the winter. Trust me I was there briefly tonight. 

I’m making a choice to look at things differently though. I’m grateful I’m not still working at DRMC. I’m grateful that after a week of call I’m working. I know I should be grateful for the moisture. 
Sometimes gratitude for bad situations hits you out of nowhere, other times you have to go looking for it but the more you go looking for it the more readily it comes to you. 

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